Saturday, April 18, 2015

0 Delilah S. Dawson, author of HIT, on being inspired by South Park and an iPod update

HIT is the latest novel by Delilah S. Dawson, and we're delighted she's joining us to share more about it.

Delilah, what was your inspiration for writing HIT?

It was inspired by South Park, believe it or not. One night, I watched the Human CentiPad episode, in which accepting Apple's terms of service legally contracts you to be sewn into a human centipede. The next day, my own iPod downloaded a new version (without my permission, I might add) and forced me to accept a new TOS. Basically, either you Accept it, or you throw away your useless piece of tech and lose all your music and songs forever. I pressed Agree and prepared myself to be sewn to another foolish iPod owner.

And then I started to think about how easy it would be to slide something sneaky into a long, unreadable Terms of Service agreement. What if, when signing up for a new credit card, they tweaked the wording so that instead of "This agreement may be terminated at any time," to "This cardholder may be terminated at any time?" Would anyone notice? And if they agreed anyway, what would happen when the bank took advantage of that stipulation?

That was the story seed: What if you could be legally killed for not paying your debts?

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The opening scene was actually the hardest to write. Part of Patsy's problem is that the more people you kill, the easier it gets, but that first one's a doozy. As I've never killed anyone (Promise!), it was hard putting myself into the shoes of someone standing there, gun in hand, watching the clock count down.

I'm super proud of the scene between Patsy and Jeremy. It wasn't in the first draft, but it always makes me emotional.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I would say that if you want to read about the first step of a dystopia, this is the book for you. I mean, I love The Hunger Games and Divergent, but you look at those worlds and think, "Uh, how did we get to the point where we're all divided up by arbitrary lines and wearing gray tunics?" I wrote this book as the first event that changes the core of America and sends us down a path that gets increasingly twisted. My pal Trent Reedy is doing something similar in his Divided We Fall Trilogy about the war that could happen tomorrow, if we're not careful. No tunics necessary.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I'm writing the sequel to HIT, which is called STRIKE and will be out in 2016. It picks up right where HIT ends, but... it's got an even higher body count. The good news is that Patsy doesn't go to the Capitol to take on the New Government, which is one of my pet peeves in dystopia. The bad news is that she loses someone very close to her...

I'm also in edits for WAKE OF VULTURES, a Fantasy I recently sold to Orbit in a two-book deal. It's the book that inspired the vulture feather tattoo on my right forearm, and it will be out this October under the name Lila Bowen. Which is still me. :)


by Delilah S. Dawson
Simon Pulse
Released 4/14/2015


The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

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Delilah S. Dawson writes whimsical and dark Fantasy for adults and teens. Her Blud series for Pocket includes Wicked as They Come, Wicked After Midnight, and Wicked as She Wants, winner of the RT Book Reviews Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence for 2013. Her YA debut, Servants of the Storm, is a Southern Gothic Horror set in Savannah, GA, and HIT is about teen assassins in a bank-owned America. Her Geekrotica series under pseudonym Ava Lovelace includes The Lumberfox and The Superfox with The Dapperfox on the way. Look for Wake of Vultures from Orbit Books in October 2015, written as Lila Bowen.

Delilah teaches writing classes at LitReactor and wrote the Island of Mesmer world for Storium.

Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, a horse, a dog, and two cats in Atlanta. Find out more at

What did you think of our interview with Delilah S. Dawson, author of HIT? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Jan, Shelly, Susan, Lisa, and Erin

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